City leader says vacant downtown Albany buildings may see 'tax - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

City leader says vacant downtown Albany buildings may see new 'tax'

Posted: Updated:
  • More WALB News10 HeadlinesMore News HeadlinesMore>>

  • Lee Co. family offers reward for missing jewelry

    Lee Co. family offers reward for missing jewelry

    Thursday, August 21 2014 1:00 PM EDT2014-08-21 17:00:25 GMT
    A Lee County family is offering a reward tonight to catch a thief they say stole thousands of dollars worth of jewelry from their home.More >>
    A Lee County family is offering a reward tonight to catch a thief they say stole thousands of dollars worth of jewelry from their home.More >>
  • Phoebe to hold blood drive Thursday

    Phoebe to hold blood drive Thursday

    Thursday, August 21 2014 12:26 PM EDT2014-08-21 16:26:11 GMT
    (Phoebe Putney)(Phoebe Putney)
    The gift of life is priceless and it is a gift that many can give Thursday, at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital. Phoebe's current drive is part of an ongoing effort to encourage all who qualify to give blood.More >>
    The gift of life is priceless and it is a gift that many can give Thursday, at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital. Phoebe's current drive is part of an ongoing effort to encourage all who qualify to give blood.More >>
  • GEMA offers 10 tips during extreme heat

    GEMA offers 10 tips during extreme heat

    Thursday, August 21 2014 11:50 AM EDT2014-08-21 15:50:56 GMT
    A heat wave will make it feel like the temperature is over 100º in the next couple of days in South Georgia. The CDC says extreme heat is the top weather-related killer in the nation, claiming approximately 400 lives per year. More >>
    A heat wave will make it feel like the temperature is over 100º in the next couple of days in South Georgia. The CDC says extreme heat is the top weather-related killer in the nation, claiming approximately 400 lives per year. More >>
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

One city leader says a tax on empty buildings in downtown Albany could spark the area's economic growth and help revitalization efforts.

Commissioner BJ Fletcher made a suggestion of a vacancy tax during Tuesday's city commission meeting while the downtown manager was giving his assessment of available retail space.

Planners say 35 empty storefronts throughout the 12 downtown blocks could become thriving businesses. But the majority of the spaces need major work before they can be leased to potential companies.

Leaders say some property owners are holding out for offers from large businesses and are reluctant to make building improvements or lease them to other companies.

"We've got a downtown manager that says his biggest challenge is to get landlords motivated," Said Commissioner Fletcher, who operates the Hilton Garden Inn in downtown Albany. "Well, I'm gonna put [something] in front of this commission to get them motivated by creating a vacancy tax. And as long as that building stays empty, there will be a tax created on that building."

Copyright 2014 WALB.  All rights reserved.